With a victory in Sunday’s presidential election, Vladimir Putin has a chance to become the longest-serving Russian ruler since Joseph Stalin. Putin effectively ruled the country as prime minister for the past four years and now could serve two additional six-year terms as president. Read related article.

Notes: Since 1996, the Russian presidential term has been four years. Beginning in 2012, each term will be six years. Yeltsin’s first term was five years, six months of which occurred when Russia was part of the Soviet Union, and overlapped with Gorbachev’s tenure. Gorbachev took title as head of state of the Soviet Union in 1988. Stalin accumulated full power after Lenin’s death in 1924 — Lenin was incapacitated by a stroke in 1922. Peter the Great took the title of emperor in 1721, and Ivan the Terrible took the title of Czar of all Russia in 1547. | Source: Staff reports | | The Washington Post March 4, 2012
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